The scent of lilacs in the air brings a smile to my face. Each encounter, every time, always. Further, with the promise of warmer, sunnier days, I am filled with joy. Every instance of stepping into a space, inside or out, carrying that familiar scent, prompts me to seek and locate the source. Joy follows, always. I never take this sense of wonder for granted.
This year, there is a shift, an added dimension, another association. Sorrow follows joy; equally breathtaking and barely tolerable.
Each time I step into a space, breathe in the purple, pink or white blossom spring scent, I close my eyes and am filled with joy. A brief moment later, my head drops forward, eyes close. I lock my legs in place for fear my knees will buckle and I’ll fold over myself, falling to the ground where only a moment before I was standing in joy. I am filled with a sorrow that literally takes my breath.
And there it is. Lilacs now remind me of my mom.
There is a flash, a recall, of her cutting blooms, carrying spring into her house. Walking in, I seek the overflowing vase holding spring. And there she is, welcoming me. Spring is here.
Necessity prompts movement, so I walk to not falter.
This spring, before the wind scatters the scent of the blossoms, joy and sorrow seem tied to my experience. Spring is here, my mom is not, and I walk forward.
This is my mom. Joy and sorrow. Always.
And I am hopeful.